Beginning Readers
Erin Gray


            For children to learn to write and read they must learn how spoken language maps onto written language, and phonemic awareness helps them grasp this understanding.  In this lesson the children will learn the correspondence a = /a/.   By participating in this lesson, the students will learn to read and spell words with the correspondence a = /a/.


-Poster Board with tongue twister “Adam asked the address of the apple tree after the act.”

-Book A Cat Nap

-Primary Paper



1.  Write the letter a on the primary paper.  “Today we are going to learn the sound that the letter a makes.”

 2.  “Have you ever heard the sound that a crying baby makes?  When babies cry they make the sound aaahh!  Now I am going to make the sound of the crying baby, and when I do this, I’m going to turn my fists close to my eyes like I am a crying baby rubbing my eyes so that I will remember the sound.  Watch as I make the /a/ sound.  This sound is also called the short a sound.  Now this time I want you to say it with me and pretend you are like a crying baby.”

3.  Take out the poster with the tongue twister.  “Bad bats bite black cats.”  “Now I am going to read the tongue twister and I want you to listen for the /a/ sound.”  BaaaaD BaaaTS BITE BLaaaCK CaaaTS.  “Now you say it with me and I want you to be the crying baby.”  BaaaD BaaaTS BITE BLaaaCK CaaaTS.

4.  “Now I am going to say some words and you can tell me if you hear the crying baby in these words.”  FRONT or BACK, BOX  or BAG, TAG or TOUCH, FEEL or SLAP?  “Now I want you to think hard and tell me some words that have the crying baby sound.”

 5.  For the letter box lesson, put out two vowels.  Start with the word at.  Model for the students how to spell the word at.  “Let’s practice spelling words with the /a/ sound.  Let’s start with the word at.  What is the first sound you hear in the word at?  That’s right, you hear the short a first.  In the first box, we will put the first sound of the word, what letter do we use to spell /a/?  We use a lowercase a.  What is the second sound you hear?  Great, the /t/ sound!  What letter do we use to make this sound?  Right, we use the lowercase t.  We spell the word at with the letters a-t.”  Have the students spell the following words: (3) cat, nap, map  (4) slap, clap  (5) strap, scratch.

6.  “Now we are going to read a book called A Cat Nap.  This book is about a cat named Tab.  He goes to a baseball game with his owner whose name is Sam.  Let’s read the book to see if Tab takes a nap.

 7.  Have each student write a message using the correspondence a = /a/.


            The students will write messages using the correspondence a = /a/.  Assess the writing samples to make sure that the students are correctly using the correspondence.


Kohtala, Mareena. : Icky Sticky

A Cat Nap.  Cushman, Sheila.  Educational Insights, 1990.